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As the world turns

Now there can be little doubt that the world of publishing is doing a 180:

McGraw-Hill Education, big-time publisher of textbooks, told the Associated Press this week that sales of its digital content and online programs "surpassed print sales for the first time last year."

I've written before about the high cost of texts at the college level, but I have no clue about what these books cost public school districts. A lot, I'm sure, and ever rising.

McGraw-Hill has online programs for teachers and students to work on lesson plans, content, reading materials, and so on.

So, this report represents a tipping point, in my opinion. As more students do their reading online, the more they move away from print. And the more they move away from print, the less print there'll be.

And so ...

Now I see ...

Sometimes I get so busy I just skim the news and then find myself not thinking very deeply about what I've read or heard.

So it is that I've been afloat on the battle between Apple and the FBI over access to data on an iPhone that might help solve a crime.

Richard Clarke, former czar for antiterrorism in the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, clarified the point on NPR this morning.

The main issue for Clarke is freedom of speech, in the case freedom from not having to speak. See, Clarke said, the government is trying to get Apple employees to write code that does not exist. That is forcing speech, the courts have found.

But, the bigger issue is that the NSA, already suspect after the Snowden revelations, wants to push this case to set a precedent so that they can make other tech companies do their bidding in the name of national security. That way lies totalitarianism.

Let's tread lightly.

Wrong again

Oops!

Today, the national polling organizations must be repeating that famous line from presidential candidate Rick Perry.

They flubbed it again.

Alan Stamm, a columnist for Deadline Detroit, posted a column this morning about the Democratic Party's primary win yesterday by Bernie Sanders:

"To call political surveys an inexact science is like saying astrologers' forecasts are unreliable."

Yep.

Pollsters have been pretty miserably wrong this political season.

And they will continue to be wrong. They don't have the technology to keep up with how voters and possible voters are able to be contacted to give them polling results.

You didn't need to poll anyone to come up with the prediction that we would be where we are in polling. But, we continue to see pundits and reporters cite lame poll results because they have to, after all, report something very news cycle, and polls make for good copy even if they are wrong.

 

Maybe they're onto something

A new study by Harvard researchers shows that people who read fiction are more sociable than people who don't read or people who read nonfiction.

Maybe that helps explain some of the political campaigns this spring: basically, the candidates with the most anti-social message appeal to people who don't read.

Makes sense to me.

 

Success!

Our event yesterday to launch sales of the book about the Memorial Day flood of May 23, 2015, was a huge success.

We sold about 350 books at the community center.

We have sold about another 50 so far today, and, of course, we have more available. We printed 1,000 copies.

The Old Mill Store has a large number for sale at that downtown premises. And if you notice on our website front page, you can order the book online through a secure gateway operated by the Old Mill Store.

Thanks to all who have bought their books!

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